Merck KGaA raises 2021 profit forecast on lab supply demand

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FILE PHOTO: A logo of drugs and chemicals group Merck KGaA is pictured in Darmstadt

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT – Germany’s Merck KGaA raised its full-year profit forecast on Wednesday, citing a very strong performance at its Life Science unit, which supplies materials and gear to COVID-19 vaccine makers and other drugmakers.

The diversified group said in an unscheduled statement that it now expects 2021 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), adjusted for special items, to reach 6 billion to 6.3 billion euros ($7 billion to $7.3 billion), up from 5.2 billion in 2020.

It had previously targeted 5.6 billion to 6 billion euros.

Third-quarter adjusted EBITDA fell to 1.55 billion euros, down from 1.7 billion a year earlier, but surpassed an analyst consensus of 1.52 billion posted on Merck’s website.

Merck said it would publish detailed results as scheduled on Nov. 11.

($1 = 0.8633 euros)

(Editing by xxxxx)